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World Menopause Month: why menopause matters

Once upon a time, menopause was a shameful secret; now it can seem as though everyone is talking about it – and even more so as we approach World Menopause Month in October.

Yet, as evidence published this July by the Women and Equalities Select Committee suggests, those experiencing menopause and perimenopause continue to suffer stigma and discrimination in the workplace. Polls reveal that more than a third of them struggle to receive appropriate primary care from their GPs as they enter perimenopause, while 67% reported experiencing a loss of confidence at work because of their symptoms.

Menopause events and talks at the university

Open to both staff and students, the university has organised the following online events during October, which aim to offer a safe and supportive environment for anyone experiencing the menopause or perimenopause to share their experiences, and for allies to find out more.

Menopause and why it matters – 6pm-8pm, Thursday 20 October, online

Menopause Awareness SpeakersThis is the University’s flagship event for World Menopause Month, with leading campaigners and medical experts sharing advice and research on thriving through the perimenopause and menopause.


  • Diane Danzebrink, founder of Menopause Support
  • Dr Heather Brown, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at the Sussex NHS Foundation Trust
  • Dr Olivia Hum, GP and Menopause Specialist who established Women’s Health Sussex
  • Dr Zoe Schaedel, GP and Menopause Specialist with a special interest in sleep and menopause.

The event will be held on Microsoft Teams – you can find the event channel in the World Menopause Month Teams group, and also post questions before and during the event.

Creative Pause! Creativity and the menopause, a short talk and workshop with Dr Jess Moriarty – 6pm, Wednesday 7 December, The Bevy Pub

A short talk about the research project Creative Pause, which is responding to evidence that suggests that enabling those to engage in the creative arts, including storytelling, may have beneficial impacts on health and wellbeing.

Find out more and sign up for the event

About the organiser

Joanne Smith, a Principal Lecturer in the School of Education, will be leading the online menopause events in October. For Joanne, who organises these events throughout the year on top of her normal workload, promoting menopause awareness is a deeply held vocation.

She said: “The reason I organise these Menopause Cafes and menopause awareness events is because I don’t want any woman to feel like I did when menopause hit. I didn’t have a clue what was happening to me because menopause was not widely spoken about and we and the medical profession are not educated about it. Women need to know that there are many and varied symptoms they can experience during the perimenopause and menopause and that these can be alleviated by HRT, lifestyle changes and so on.”

She added: “The Menopause Cafes provide a space to bring women from across the University to discuss this stage of life and hopefully we all empower each other to make the changes needed to get through this life stage and live our best lives!”

What is the Menopause?

Perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms are wide-ranging and can be severe. As well as hot flushes and night sweats, those going through menopause can experience problems sleeping, joint pain, heart palpitations, migraines, and brain fog or difficulties concentrating. They can also suffer from changes in mood, severe anxiety and depression.

For many, it can be a bleak and lonely time, although there have been some positive changes in the past few years: menopause is now part of the Relationships, Sex and Health Education curriculum; the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has begun reviewing its menopause guidance; and the Government has set up a UK Menopause Taskforce to help support those going through menopause and reduce the gender health gap. High-profile documentaries hosted by presenters such as Davina McCall and Mariella Frostrup have also done much to bring the issues into the mainstream and reduce stigma.

University support for students

Students can access a wide range of wellbeing services all year round for whatever your situation, there is always help that can be given.

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Robin Coleman • 11 October 2022

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  1. Robin Coleman 14 October 2022 - 7.42am Reply

    Hi Sarah, you should be able to click the link and join the Teams channel. Here’s the link again below but you may need to seek technical advice depending on your PC or laptop set up (email Thanks

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